Discriminatory and robust typing methods are needed to improve the understanding of the dynamics of food-borne Campylobacter infections and epidemiology in primary animal production. To evaluate the strain discriminatory potential of typing methods, flaA short variable region (SVR) sequencing and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy were applied on a collection of 102 epidemiologically related and unrelated Campylobacter jejuni strains. Previous application of FTIR spectroscopy for subtyping of Campylobacter has been limited. A subset of isolates, initially discriminated by flaA SVR sequencing, were further subjected to multilocus sequence typing (MLST). It was found that flaA SVR sequencing had a slightly higher discriminatory power than FTIR spectroscopy, based on the Simpson diversity index. The clustering of strains indicated that FTIR spectroscopy is indeed a suitable method for discrimination of Campylobacter. The isolates were assigned to six clusters based on flaA SVR sequences and nine clusters based on the FTIR spectroscopy profiles. Furthermore, the cluster analysis of flaA SVR sequences, MLST, and FTIR spectroscopy profiles showed a high degree of congruence, assigning the isolates to similar cluster structures. In conclusion, FTIR spectroscopy can be applied for subtyping of Campylobacter, and the high discriminatory potential of both flaA SVR sequencing and FTIR spectroscopy render them suitable screening methods for large numbers of strains.
- Campylobacter jejuni